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Aviva case study

In-house emerging leader programme

The challenge

We were approached by Aviva when they were looking to develop an in-house programme to develop leadership capabilities in talent across the business. Having previously focused on developing talent at the top end of the organisation, the people team were passionate about shifting their focus to build a continuum of potential within the business – an approach that aimed to ‘catch them early’ to create readiness within their emerging talent for the long term, improving their talent pipeline and increasing diversity in their leadership teams.

They recognised that they needed to radically change their approach to the whole employee life cycle. They wanted to improve the diversity in their leadership teams, getting women into leadership roles earlier in their careers. They also recognised the need to support people to develop key soft skills at a much earlier stage in their career; skills that allowed them to lead effectively; be part of a team; story tell and engage; have difficult conversations; drive energy and meet ambitions.

The brief

Aviva were looking to partner with market-leading experts to deliver an in-house global emerging leader programme that would support their brightest talent across the organisation.

This was about creating their leaders of the future; building a solution that focused on the needs of a multigenerational workforce: new technologies, more flexible and remote ways of working, embracing inclusion and diversity and, most critically, instilling human leadership behaviours.

Their aim was to create a tribe of changemakers within the business; a group of emerging leaders who had developed a deep insight into who they were and the leaders they wanted to be. Confident, curious leaders who could create a culture of collaboration and positive challenge to drive the business and culture forward. Human leaders that cared deeply about their colleagues and customers, and were passionate about making a difference in Aviva for the long term.

They wanted the best in the market – not just a ‘make do’ programme, but something impactful for their emerging talent. It needed to be simple, flexible and tailored, explicitly linking to Aviva’s strategy and values and branded and delivered in a way that felt like their programme, rather than an external company  delivering something on Aviva’s behalf.

Aviva sought to find a partner who shared their ambition, held credibility and possessed expertise into what would be required from their future leaders. Importantly, this needed to be a partnership, a collaboration to ensure the outcome was best in class and truly life-changing for their delegates.

The solution

To build this solution demanded collaboration, thought leadership and expertise. We worked in partnership with the learning team to create a programme that delegates would aspire to and be proud to be part of.  

Delivered over a 6-month period, the programme comprised a 1-day launch event, 4 x 2-day interactive masterclasses, pre- and post-work and a 3-hour graduation and pitch event attended by line managers and senior leaders. Embedding was also key and with an in-house faculty of coaches we were able to collaborate to support and embed the programme learning through 1:1 coaching. We also worked with the Aviva talent team to match every delegate with a mentor.

The impact

Across the board the results were outstanding. With an NPS of 100 (we’re pretty proud of that!), we knew the delegates loved it, but delivering something that was truly transformational for the organisation was critical.

So, did we do it? We think the results speak for themselves.

Aviva stats Ivy House
Additionally, the promotion rate of the ELP population was 25% within 3 months.
4 years on, we’re now a core part of their in-house offering, delivering programmes to support talent across the organisation, including their graduates, school  leavers and current leaders.

“When looking for a partner to deliver our in-house emerging leader programme, I wanted the best in the market. Quite honestly Ivy House blew everyone else out of the water. 

The programme far exceeded my expectations. That’s not just because of the quality of the solution but I had hundreds of people coming back and telling their line managers how life-changing it was, writing to the CEO to thank him for the opportunity. That just does not happen from an average course.

Of all the talent programmes I ran, this one had the biggest impact in terms of promotions and results.

The Aviva ELP is now by far the most successful and oversubscribed programme we run – and my proudest legacy.”

Bernadette Bruton, Global Talent Director, Aviva





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